ZTE is today expanding its AXON series with the new “Axon 7” that packs every flagship hardware you can imagine, yet, maintaining a mid-range price tag. ZTE hasn’t tweaked much when it comes to the build itself, it’s still an extremely well constructed Aluminium handset and at some level, resembles LG’s G3.
The Axon 7 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 along with Adreno 530 GPU and either 4GB of RAM with 64GB internal storage or a massive 6GB of RAM with 128GB of onboard storage both of which are surprisingly expandable via a MicroSD card. However, the latter also gets the advantage of having a pressure-sensitive (*cough* 3D touch *cough*) display. On the front, there’s a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED panel resulting in an impressive pixel density of 538 ppi and is covered by a 2.5D glass and Gorilla Glass 4 for protection. Underneath, it runs on a 3240 mAh battery pack which is obviously non-removable given the unibody build. Additionally, the phone supports Cat 6 LTE, Quick-charge 3.0 that is capable of providing 50% charge in merely 30 minutes and Voice Over LTE.
There’s a 20MP rear Samsung ISOCELL lens with an aperture of f/1.8 and Dual-LED flash, Optical Image Stabilization, EIS, and PDAF. Moreover, it can shoot 4K videos at 30fps and capture selfies with an 8MP front facing camera. ZTE has focused majorly on this phone’s audio performance, the AXON 7 has dedicated AKM 4961 + 4490 audio chips, Dual front speaker setup, and Dolby Atmos underpin. For the buyers who appreciate recording capabilities, it flaunts Dimensional and Omni Directional input. Lastly, you will benefit with a fingerprint scanner present on the back and a reversible USB Type-C port. The device is launching with Android Marshmallow with a promise of the N update whenever it’s released.
ZTE is retailing the 4GB RAM variant of AXON 7 in the US at a price of $450 and $630 for the 6GB RAM variant. While the deal does look quite splendid, ZUK’s Z2 Pro is offering almost the same specifications with 6GB of RAM for about $420. Additionally, OnePlus will need to get the price right for its upcoming flagship to compete in the market. OEMs releasing such cheap products with similar hardware does make us rethink our decisions of buying a $700 smartphone.